- I'm interested in what other people think (about grammar). We have a couple of Chomskyites here and some who insist that language is always evolving.
- Is it not a matter of priorities? Which is more important when language is used: effective expression of meaning or grammatical conventions?
- A bit of both, no? I see the two as being interlinked - many conventions have developed either because we need a standard everyone understands or because they are inherently clearer.
- I was under the impression that effective expression of meaning was best achieved through the correct adherence to grammatical conventions. I say that as someone who messes up grammar daily.
- The trouble comes when the standard becomes a priority in its own right. We've all seen posters criticising someone's use of grammar and ignoring the point they were making.
- Accuracy is important. We all make errors but educated people should follow fundamental grammatical conventions.
- You need to know the rules of grammar before you can play around with them. A bit like abstract painting - Picasso messed about with the rules of drawing, painting and perspective, but he mastered the rules first. He was a brilliant draughtsman.
- Grammar is inherent in spoken language and children learn it as they learn to speak. Children brought up bilingual master two different grammar structures early in life.